Junie by Chelene Knight


 Longlisted for the 2023 Carol Shields Prize for Fiction

A riveting exploration of the complexity within mother-daughter relationships and the dynamic vitality of Vancouver's former Hogan's Alley neighbourhood.

1930s, Hogan's Alley-a thriving Black and immigrant community located in Vancouver's East End. Junie is a creative, observant child who moves to the alley with her mother, Maddie: a jazz singer with a growing alcohol dependency. Junie quickly makes meaningful relationships with two mentors and a girl her own age, Estelle, whose resilient and entrepreneurial mother is grappling with white scrutiny and the fact that she never really wanted a child.

As Junie finds adulthood, exploring her artistic talents and burgeoning sexuality, her mother sinks further into the bottle while the thriving neighbourhood-once gushing with potential-begins to change. As her world opens, Junie intuits the opposite for the community she loves.

Told through the fascinating lens of a bright woman in an oft-disquieting world, this book is intimate and urgent-not just an unflinching look at the destruction of a vibrant community, but a celebration of the Black lives within.

Contributor Bio 

CHELENE KNIGHT is the author of the memoir Dear Current Occupant, winner of the 2018 Vancouver Book Award. Her novel, Junie, won the 2023 City of Vancouver Book Award, and was longlisted for the inaugural Carol Shields Prize for Fiction and shortlisted for the Ferro-Grumley Award for LGBTQ Fiction. Her essays have appeared in many literary journals and newspapers, including The Globe and Mail and The Walrus. Knight is the founder of Breathing Space Creative. Born and raised in Vancouver, she now lives in Harrison Hot Springs, British Columbia.